My children are now grown and have kids of their own, but I spent a lot of time during their early years teaching them to cook. As a working mom, I often had days that ended much later than teenagers could wait for dinner, so both of my sons begged to learn how to make their favorite dishes. Scott, my youngest, was particularly enamored of the jam-filled French crêpes I made for Sunday brunch. He'd stand elbow-to-elbow with me, swirling batter across the bottom of the small, hot pan and dumping the crêpes he deemed too thick or lumpy into the sink. Hundreds of crêpes later, he had mastered the dish, and I had wonderful memories of flipping crêpes, talking and connecting.
Shea Mackenzie-Mcgrail, Midlothian, VA
As I read through the August issue, all I could do was smile. I am a 42-year-old frustrated chef (masquerading as an investment banker by day), and the highlight of my weekends is cooking with my children, who are seven, nine and 12. While we cook nearly everything together—fresh pasta, pesto sauce, curry chicken and braised short ribs are among our favorites—it really doesn't matter so much what we're making, but how much fun we invariably have doing it. The sights, smells and tastes of the food we cook give us all a greater appreciation for what we eat and the effort it took to deliver it to our table. Amid arbitrating who gets to roll the pasta first and who gets to sauté the mirepoix, I can't help wondering whether—indeed hoping—I'm helping to create three chefs in the process.